Multiple sclerosis risk higher in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: Study

Multiple sclerosis risk higher in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes: StudyMultiple sclerosis (MS) risk is higher in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes, according to research. Susanne Bechtold, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, wrote, “Type 1 diabetes and [multiple sclerosis] are organ-specific inflammatory diseases, which result from an autoimmune attack against either pancreatic β-cells or central nervous system; a combined appearance has been described repeatedly. We hypothesize that antibodies (namely, diabetes-specific antibody, celiac disease- or thyroid-specific antibodies), BMI, immigrant background, or month of birth might have a major impact on the coincidence of type 1 diabetes and MS.”

The researchers used a database to estimate the relative risk of multiple sclerosis in children and adolescents with diabetes. The analysis demonstrated the estimated relative risk of multiple sclerosis in type 1 diabetic youth to be 3.35 to 4.79 percent for the German reference data and 2.01 to 11.39 percent for the mid-European reference data.


Factors contributing to the risk of multiple sclerosis included immigration status and thyroid antibodies – primarily among males. Type 1 diabetics who developed multiple sclerosis were more likely to be born in the spring and summer months, with highest incidences among those born in June and July, and the lowest rates among those born in April.

The authors wrote, “The risk of autoimmune diseases might be linked to month of birth through seasonal maternal vitamin D deficiencies. Lower UV exposure might predict for a higher autoimmune susceptibility, explaining the co-occurrence of several autoimmune diseases in one person.”

“The present cohort study demonstrates a higher risk of co-occurrence of MS in a pediatric and adolescent diabetes population. We suggest that environmental factors modulate the individual’s risk for the co-occurrence of both diseases,” the authors concluded.

Healthy lifestyle changes for people with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis can lead to other health complications, so healthy lifestyle changes are important not only for preventing other ailments, but also for improving multiple sclerosis symptoms and flare-ups. Here is a list of some simple healthy lifestyle changes multiple sclerosis patients should embrace in their daily lives.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet and avoid any nutritional deficiencies
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce your risk of infection like colds and flu
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stay cool
  • Get support and develop coping mechanisms – maintain daily activities as much as possible, stay connected with friends and family, continue to pursue favorite hobbies, get in touch with a support group if necessary, discuss your feelings and concerns surrounding multiple sclerosis with your doctor

By implementing these healthy lifestyle changes into your daily life, you can better manage your multiple sclerosis.

Related Reading:

Early multiple sclerosis symptoms: Restless leg syndrome, numbness and weakness

Sensory problems, including restless leg syndrome (RLS), numbness and weakness, are the first sign of multiple sclerosis (MS). Sensory problems can occur in 20 to 50 percent of individuals with multiple sclerosis with a condition known as paresthesia. Continue reading…


Home test to check if you have diabetes

Testing blood sugar at home can be an effective way to treat and monitor your diabetes. Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in North America. About 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes – 8.1 million cases are undiagnosed. Continue reading…


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.